Special Issue "Multifunctional Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ana Grenha
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Centre for Marine Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Interests: drug delivery; pulmonary delivery; inhalation; tools facilitating carrier evaluation in vitro; microencapsulation; nanoencapsulation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the famous words of Paul Ehrlich about “magic bullets” in the beginning of the 20th century, considered by many as the beginning of the era of nanotechnology, nanomedicine appeared as a strong research field and evolved to provide us with unprecedented possibilities in therapeutics. Nanosized drug carriers, often referred to as nanosystems, or simply nanocarriers, have long been explored to facilitate the delivery of associated drugs to a specific desired location and several nanotechnology-based medicines are currently on the market. Nanocarriers can be used to simply protect drugs and improve their bioavailability. However, recent advances in materials science, and also in basic knowledge of pathophysiology, are strongly contributing to the development of more sophisticated systems. Simultaneously, particle engineering has become an enabling technology towards potentiating multifunctional abilities. In this context, nanocarriers may become stimuli-responsive, be endowed with targeting capacity, or provide simultaneous delivery of multiple drugs.

This Special Issue entitled “Multifunctional Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery” aims to provide an overview of recent research advances in nanocarriers that integrate diverse functionalities, thus achieving effective synergistic therapeutic outcomes and improving drug delivery as a whole. As Guest Editor, I cordially invite contributions in form of original research articles or reviews on this exciting research field.

Dr. Ana Grenha
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • nanomedicine
  • nanocarriers
  • multifunctional carriers
  • stimuli-responsive carriers
  • targeting ability
  • multiple drug delivery

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Ionic Liquid-Polymer Nanoparticle Hybrid Systems as New Tools to Deliver Poorly Soluble Drugs
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(8), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9081148 - 10 Aug 2019
Abstract
The use of functional excipients such as ionic liquids (ILs) and the encapsulation of drugs into nanocarriers are useful strategies to overcome poor drug solubility. The aim of this work was to evaluate the potential of IL-polymer nanoparticle hybrid systems as tools to [...] Read more.
The use of functional excipients such as ionic liquids (ILs) and the encapsulation of drugs into nanocarriers are useful strategies to overcome poor drug solubility. The aim of this work was to evaluate the potential of IL-polymer nanoparticle hybrid systems as tools to deliver poorly soluble drugs. These systems were obtained using a methodology previously developed by our group and improved herein to produce IL-polymer nanoparticle hybrid systems. Two different choline-based ILs and poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) 50:50 or PLGA 75:25 were used to load rutin into the delivery system. The resulting rutin-loaded IL-polymer nanoparticle hybrid systems presented a diameter of 250–300 nm, with a low polydispersity index and a zeta potential of about −40 mV. The drug association efficiency ranged from 51% to 76%, which represents a good achievement considering the poor solubility of rutin. No significant particle aggregation was obtained upon freeze-drying. The presence of the IL in the nanosystem does not affect its sustained release properties, achieving about 85% of rutin released after 72 h. The cytotoxicity studies showed that the delivery system was not toxic to HaCat cells. Our findings may open a new paradigm on the therapy improvement of diseases treated with poorly soluble drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustained Local Delivery of Diclofenac from Three-Dimensional Ultrafine Fibrous Protein Scaffolds with Ultrahigh Drug Loading Capacity
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9070918 - 26 Jun 2019
Abstract
The three-dimensional (3D) ultrafine fibrous scaffolds loaded with functional components can not only provide support to 3D tissue repair, but also deliver the components in-situ with small dosage and low fusion frequency. However, the conventional loading methods possess drawbacks such as low loading [...] Read more.
The three-dimensional (3D) ultrafine fibrous scaffolds loaded with functional components can not only provide support to 3D tissue repair, but also deliver the components in-situ with small dosage and low fusion frequency. However, the conventional loading methods possess drawbacks such as low loading capacity or high burst release. In this research, an ultralow concentration phase separation (ULCPS) technique was developed to form 3D ultrafine gelatin fibers and, meanwhile, load an anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac, with high capacities for the long-term delivery. The developed scaffolds could achieve a maximum drug loading capacity of 12 wt.% and a highest drug loading efficiency of 84% while maintaining their 3D ultrafine fibrous structure with high specific pore volumes from 227.9 to 237.19 cm3/mg. The initial release at the first hour could be reduced from 34.7% to 42.2%, and a sustained linear release profile was observed with a rate of about 1% per day in the following 30 days. The diclofenac loaded in and released from the ULCPS scaffolds could keep its therapeutic molecular structure. The cell viability has not been affected by the release of drug when the loading was less than 12 wt.%. The results proved the possibility to develop various 3D ultrafine fibrous scaffolds, which can supply functional components in-situ with a long-term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Albumin Submicron Particles with Entrapped Riboflavin—Fabrication and Characterization
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030482 - 25 Mar 2019
Abstract
Although riboflavin (RF) belongs to the water-soluble vitamins of group B, its solubility is low. Therefore, the application of micro-formulations may help to overcome this limiting factor for the delivery of RF. In this study we immobilized RF in newly developed albumin submicron [...] Read more.
Although riboflavin (RF) belongs to the water-soluble vitamins of group B, its solubility is low. Therefore, the application of micro-formulations may help to overcome this limiting factor for the delivery of RF. In this study we immobilized RF in newly developed albumin submicron particles prepared using the Co-precipitation Crosslinking Dissolution technique (CCD-technique) of manganese chloride and sodium carbonate in the presence of human serum albumin (HSA) and RF. The resulting RF containing HSA particles (RF-HSA-MPs) showed a narrow size distribution in the range of 0.9 to 1 μm, uniform peanut-like morphology, and a zeta-potential of −15 mV. In vitro release studies represented biphasic release profiles of RF in a phosphate buffered saline (PBS) pH 7.4 and a cell culture medium (RPMI) 1640 medium over a prolonged period. Hemolysis, platelet activation, and phagocytosis assays revealed a good hemocompatibility of RF-HSA-MPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Alkyl Chain Number in Sucrose Surfactant on the Physical Properties of Quercetin-Loaded Deformable Nanoliposome and Its Effect on In Vitro Human Skin Penetration
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(8), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8080622 - 16 Aug 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Non-invasive skin penetration of a drug is increased by an edge activator, which enhances the nanoliposome deformability. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of the alkyl chain number of sucrose surfactants as an edge activator in elastic nanoliposomes. In [...] Read more.
Non-invasive skin penetration of a drug is increased by an edge activator, which enhances the nanoliposome deformability. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of the alkyl chain number of sucrose surfactants as an edge activator in elastic nanoliposomes. In addition, the physicochemical properties of the elastic nanoliposomes were characterized and an in vitro human skin permeation study was performed. Elastic nanoliposomes that were composed of sucrose monostearate (MELQ), sucrose distearate (DELQ), and sucrose tristearte (TELQ) were prepared using a thin-film hydration method. Particle size and entrapment efficiency of elastic nanoliposomes increased proportionally with an increase in the amounts and the numbers of the stearate in sucrose surfactant. Deformability of elastic nanoliposomes was indicated as DELQ > MELQ > TELQ and the same pattern was revealed through the in vitro human skin permeability tests. These results suggest that the number of alkyl chains of sucrose surfactant as edge activator affects the physicochemical property, stability, and skin permeability in elastic nanoliposome. Our findings give a valuable platform for the development of elastic nanoliposomes as skin drug delivery systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Emergent Nanotechnological Strategies for Systemic Chemotherapy against Melanoma
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1455; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101455 - 13 Oct 2019
Abstract
Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer, being one of the deadliest cancers in the world. The current treatment options involve surgery, radiotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and the use of chemotherapeutic agents. Although the last approach is the most used, the high [...] Read more.
Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer, being one of the deadliest cancers in the world. The current treatment options involve surgery, radiotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and the use of chemotherapeutic agents. Although the last approach is the most used, the high toxicity and the lack of efficacy in advanced stages of the disease have demanded the search for novel bioactive molecules and/or efficient drug delivery systems. The current review aims to discuss the most recent advances on the elucidation of potential targets for melanoma treatment, such as aquaporin-3 and tyrosinase. In addition, the role of nanotechnology as a valuable strategy to effectively deliver selective drugs is emphasized, either incorporating/encapsulating synthetic molecules or natural-derived compounds in lipid-based nanosystems such as liposomes. Nanoformulated compounds have been explored for their improved anticancer activity against melanoma and promising results have been obtained. Indeed, they displayed improved physicochemical properties and higher accumulation in tumoral tissues, which potentiated the efficacy of the compounds in pre-clinical experiments. Overall, these experiments opened new doors for the discovery and development of more effective drug formulations for melanoma treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery)
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